Chiapas: army occupies Zapatista communities in "anti-drug" ops

On June 4, a detachment of some 200 Mexican army troops and federal police in a convoy of ten vehicles led by an armored personnel carrier occupied several communities around the Zapatista settlement of La Garrucha, on the edge of the Chiapas rainforest, on an ostensible marijuana eradication mission. The Zapatista Good Government Junta (JBG) "El Camino del Futuro," based at La Garrucha, said residents mobilized to defend their homes with sticks, machetes and slingshots as troops spread out to the corn fields, taking photographs and "intimidating the population." The troops found no marijuana, but reportedly warned that they would return in 15 days.

The JBG statement said: "The whole Zapatista zone of La Garrucha and its autonomous authorities bear witness that there do not exist any [marijuana] plantations, only Zapatistas, working their milpas [corn fields] and ready to fight for freedom, justice and democracy." (La Jornada, June 6; JBG "El Camino del Futuro" communique, June 4)

See our last posts on Mexico and the struggle in Chiapas.

Military harassment of Zapatistas